Image: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

In the throes of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was planning to test a massive nuclear bomb in the Arctic Circle. A Michigan girl wrote to then-President John F. Kennedy about the North Pole's most famous resident, AP's Phil Marcelo reports.

What she was saying: "Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole," 8-year-old Michelle Rochon pleaded. "Because they will kill Santa Claus."

  • JFK's brief, reassuring response (above) is part of a trove of online holiday material at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

The Soviets made good on their threat. Two days after Kennedy penned his letter, they dropped the "King of Bombs," as it was dubbed in Russian.

  • 1,570 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, it shattered windows as far away as Norway and Finland.
  • It's still considered the most powerful man-made explosive ever detonated.

Go deeper: Remembering JFK's assassination 54 years later

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.